Bypass bid launched to limit development in Royston

A BYPASS bid for Royston was launched this week as a pre-emptive strike against the over development of Royston.

The decision was made by town councillors at a meeting of the General Purpose and Highways Committee.

But a split decision deadlocked the council, and the deciding vote was cast by committee chairman Mike Harrison.

Launching the bid for the road, he said: “We appreciate we are not going to get a bypass in 10, 15 or 20 years.

“But what we are asking for is a line to be put on the map suggesting where it would go, and this will have certain advantages.

“At the moment we have many people looking to develop land in Royston.

“It’s not going to be long before there are other areas of the town they want to develop, and what we’re proposing is to put a line on the map suggesting where the bypass might go at some date in future.

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“That way when a developer says to us ‘can we develop here?’ we say no because that’s where the bypass is going to go.”

Although supporters of the bypass, which could be planned between the A505 at the end of Newmarket Road and run across Barkway road to the A10, think the line will limit development, Cllr Phillip Mayne believes the opposite.

“I don’t think we need that bypass. I think all it will do by marking that line on the map is encourage the in-filling between the current town and that line on the map. We have had enough of that to the north of the town,” he said.

“We don’t need to make this line on the map and see the town’s size increase in number which will of course mean more traffic more pollution.”

Cllr Peter Burt defended the chairman’s position claiming that the town council must “demonstrate to the population we are concerned with the long term”.

He said: “I fully accept we’re not going to get it tomorrow, but let’s be quite clear what we’re looking for in the long term.

“If we had said a few years ago we want an underpass under the railway, people would have laughed at us, but it’s actually being built now, because that’s what we wanted and campaigned for.”

A letter will now be written to Hertfordshire County Council expressing the town council’s position and to ask for a bypass.